New Year’s Eve, 2020, was unlike any other we’ve experienced. We’re sure most, if not all of you, can say the same. My husband, Mike, was reading through online recipes for holiday cocktails and came across the French 75. As the cocktail boss of the family, we like to encourage him in his quest to find new libations. The only stumbling block in making this a keto-friendly drink, was replacing the sugary simple syrup, but with our zero carb, zero calorie Truvia Simple Syrup recipe, that was an easy one for him to jump. It takes only a few minutes to make, and if you plan on using it within a day or two, there’s no need for the xanthan gum, which prevents crystallization. You can also use 1.5 packets of regular Truvia, (1.25 tsp) in place of the keto/Truvia simple syrup. This delightful cocktail comes in at only 2 net carbs per serving!
He decided to surprise me, and presented a bubbly, light-yellow concoction in a champagne flute. When he told me it was made of gin, fresh lemon juice, Truvia simple syrup, and topped with champagne, I was not impressed. (I may have wrinkled my nose.) And then I took a sip. The combination of flavors was totally unexpected and unlike anything I’d tasted before. They were absolutely lovely – a citrusy, refreshing, gin and sparkling wine duo.
Cocktails are often named after newsworthy people and events, and in the case of the French 75, it was named after the WWI French 75-millimeter portable cannon, the most universal weapon of the French artillery during the Great War. Capable of firing 10-20 rounds per minute, it served as a symbol of hope in ending the battle against Germany.
Not surprisingly, it’s believed to have been created by a French bartender in Harry’s New York Bar of Paris, and was named “Soixante-Quinze” (Seventy-Five) after the famous artillery at the beginning of the first World War. The British novelist Alec Waugh described this cocktail as, “The most powerful drink in the world,” while Harry Craddock, a famous bartender of the 1920’s and 30’s said, “Hits with remarkable precision.”
While the recipe for a French 75 evolved over the years, the common thread between versions is they all contained gin. Even the glass that served the French 75 morphed over the decades. Initially, they were served in a coupe (cocktail glass), then into a Collins (shape of the 75 mm shell casing), then in the 1980’s, it was served in champagne flutes.
A French 75 cocktail will take about 5 minutes, start to sip. First, we place the flutes into the freezer for a few minutes to make sure the cocktail is icy cold, and also make sure your sparkling wine is nice and cold before using. We strongly suggest you use only freshly-squeezed lemon juice in this drink. Before you squeeze the lemon, take a knife or one of our favorite tools – a citrus peeler zester – to make a few lemon strips for garnish.
Add ice to a cocktail shaker and pour in the gin, lemon juice, and Truvia Simple Syrup. Now vigorously shake for about 20 seconds, until the cocktail shaker gets very cold. Strain into a large flute and pour the chilled dry sparkling wine on top. Garnish with lemon peel, and as the French say, Santé! To your health!
Keto French 75 Cocktail
- Cocktail shaker
- Champagne flute
- 1½ oz gin
- 1 oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp Truvia simple syrup or 1¼ tsp of Truvia sweetener
- 2 oz dry sparkling wine, chilled Brut Style Cava, Prosecco, Cremant, etc.
- Squeeze lemons. Fill cocktail shaker with ice.
- Gather ingredients. Add gin, lemon juice, and Truvia simple syrup to shaker. Cover and shake vigorously for 20 seconds, until outside of shaker is very cold.
- Strain into large flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.